Saudi Arabia will meet the environmental challenge — energy minister

Prince Abdul Aziz highlighted Saudi projects in energy efficiency, solar power generation, and renewables. (Screengrab)
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Updated 25 June 2020

Saudi Arabia will meet the environmental challenge — energy minister

  • Prince Abdul Aziz highlighted Saudi projects in energy efficiency, solar power generation, and renewables
  • He was speaking at a webinar organized by the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute from New York

Saudi Arabia will continue to use its vast oil reserves in an environmentally efficient way, Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman told an international audience of thought leaders on Thursday.
“I can assure you that Saudi Arabia will not only be the last producer, but Saudi Arabia will produce every molecule of hydrocarbon and it will put it to good use, and it will be done in a most environmentally sound and more sustainable way. I’m willing to say that by 2050, we’ll be the last and the biggest producer of hydrocarbon,” he said at a webinar organized by the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute.

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READ MORE: AS IT HAPPENED: FII Institute’s ‘Don’t Forget Our Planet’ virtual conference

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“I love challenges … We’ll live up to the challenge of sitting on a huge amount of hydrocarbon, and we’ll make better use of it,” he added.
“You should come and see all the young boys and girls of Saudi Arabia, how they aspire to these challenges and how they’re inspired by them. We’ll be the pacesetter.”
The prince was speaking on a panel with other energy leaders on the subject of “the new sustainable energy equation,” discussing the challenges and opportunities presented by recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the concept of the circular carbon economy, which seeks to remove harmful pollutants from the environment via a mixture of recycling and removing pollutants, as well as sophisticated technology to remove emissions from the industrial process. “We’re trying to lead by example, and we’re putting our money where our mouth is,” he said.

The prince highlighted Saudi projects in energy efficiency, solar power generation and renewables that aim to generate half of the Kingdom’s electricity from non-hydrocarbon sources by 2030. “We have a leadership that values sustainability,” he said.
The event — the second in a series of online gatherings leading up to the FII forum in Riyadh in October — was opened by the governor of the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, who emphasized the need for a sustainable recovery from the economic shock of the pandemic.

“The recovery from the pandemic will give us the opportunity to hit the reset button,” the governor said, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s initiatives via public-private partnerships in recycling, energy efficiency, alternative energy sources and environmental protection.
The keynote speaker of the event was British anthropologist Jane Goodall, who said the response by governments to the pandemic had been “pretty good.” She added: “If only we’d responded in the same way to the climate crisis.”

Decoder

What is circular carbon economy?

Circular economy is a system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Inspired by how nature works, it is a closed-loop system where carbon emissions are reduced, reused, recycled and removed.


UAE central bank further eases liquidity measures for lenders

Updated 09 August 2020

UAE central bank further eases liquidity measures for lenders

DUBAI: UAE monetary authorities further eased liquidity measures for the country’s banks, enabling them to free up more cash to lend to companies and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE government in March launched the $69.707 billion Targeted Economic Support Scheme (TESS), which includes $13.615 billion provided by the central bank via collateralized loans at zero cost to all banks operating in the country.

Monetary authorities are “reviewing the existing thresholds of two prudential ratios: the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) and the Advances to Stable Resources Ratio (ASRR) by temporarily relaxing the requirements for the structural liquidity position of banks,” a statement from the UAE Central Bank said, as reported by state news agency WAM.

“This step comes as an additional measure encouraging banks to strengthen the implementation of the TESS and support their impacted customers in overcoming the repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic, the statement added.

For the NSFR, mandatory for the five largest UAE banks, lenders were allowed to go below the 100 percent threshold, but not lower than 90 percent, while ASRRs could go beyond 100 percent but not higher than 110 percent.

The purposal of these ratios is to ensure that long-term assets are funded by stable resources of funding, and their relaxation means banks will have more flexibility in managing their balance sheets.

“The relaxation of the two structural liquidity ratios aims to further facilitate the flow of funds from banks into the economy,” UAE central bank governor Abdulhamid M. Saeed said.

“The temporary relaxation of NSFR and ASRR will supplement the other measures CBUAE has taken under the TESS to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on private corporates, small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals.”

UAE banks have accessed about 87.2 percent – or $11.872 billion – of the Dh50 billion TESS support provided by the central bank as of July while 9,527 small and medium enterprises and more than 260,600 individuals have benefited from the scheme.